It is hard to keep up to date with all the changes going on at LinkedIn…… Here’s a useful article by Mark Stonham. “””Two changes made by LinkedIn Recent Activity and Top Updates deserve clarification because they have not been clearly explained by LinkedIn.
In a way, from a user perspective, these are inter-related.
For those of us who want to keep our contact network informed and develop our personal brand (content publishers) we gain from the introduction of “Recent Activity”, as we now have a bigger digital footprint and can use LinkedIn more like a personal website and blog.
For those of us who want to gain insight (content consumers) we can see a bigger picture by choosing to see recent updates made by people when we visit their profile and click on the ‘Recent Updates’ option.
However people have noticed that fewer people are seeing their status updates.
Outlined below are the two changes, with more explanation and insight into the implications.
Who loves presenting to a group? For all the hands that go up, I’m quite sure there’s many more that stay firmly down; in fact in a survey I spotted, this came out as the No. 1 fear. It seems many people would rather die! If we think about it, the word ‘presenting’ covers giving a seminar/talk to a room full of people, to colleagues, to stakeholders, a sales pitch, to your boss, at an interview and so many different scenarios both in business and one’s personal life.
Here are a few pointers to ensure you’re on track in getting the best from your presentations.
1. Understand your audience and make a connection with them
who will be there? if a sales pitch you need more than just names, you need to know their roles and who makes the buying decision
what do they really want from you? – what they really really want, not necessarily what they need!
why are they participating? typically you have 3 types of listeners
o those really eager to learn/take notes and for whom this is important
o those who sit back and watch a slide show and enjoy the coffee and chat
o those there under duress – they’ve been told to attend!
you will need to establish credibility and create an environment that’s right for leaning. You may be able to engage with your audience before your presentation…if colleagues you could e-mail them a summary of your message and a rough list of points you plan to cover. Or to people from outside of our organization, you could post your biography and talking points online and provide links to any pre-reading material.
what time has been allowed? “We have XXX today, does that still work for everyone in the room”? What you don’t want is one of your key partners/stakeholders walking out just after you’ve started.
specific and measurable benefits – what will the audience be looking for?
likely objections – think them through so you can answer at the end if necessary – ensure you have a polished response
2. Understand the defined objective
what’s the purpose of your presentation
what do you want from it?
what’s in it for the listener – clearly articulate this so that benefits are fully communicated and understood
work from defined objectives
3. Too much data? – less is more – 3 points and only 3- eg
I’m here because (I want you to purchase my xxxxx)
The benefit for you is that (eg it will save you £…..)
You then explain your structure and that you will be covering:
how it will increase revenues
reduce your overheads
create happier customers
Why just 3 points?
o memory and impact – the brain learns through repetition, and layering. You need to repeat what you’ve described as main topics and then explain the points in great detail. Layer and repeat, Layer and repeat.
o lead with the best stuff.
o If long and complex, group under 3 headers and lead with the most important
Add some stop slides so the audience can see where you’ve moved on to the next section
So then say you have 3 main areas to talk about x 15 minutes, the intro of 5 minutes and then 10 minutes at the end for questions. Allow time afterwards to mingle with any audience members who want to speak with you.
4. Writing your presentation
Start with the end, what you want to achieve, the action/closing/what/why/how?
Then 3 headlines titles of what you need to talk about to achieve your action closing – generally these will typically be sequential topical problem and solutions, contrast and comparison
Three critical messages
The main body x 3
Your opening words, directions, theme purpose
You may be interested in the 13-box structure by Eugene Moreau – download on the web. You will also want to tap into the ‘emotional sell’ stressing the benefits of your product or service. See below (10) for words/phrases to avoid when giving your presentation
5. Excite your audience
Be confident – have faith in yourself, inspire your audience without drifting into a fantasy realm
Think about your beginning and end. Don’t leave it to inspiration on the wing. Start with confidence. Think SCRIPT> REHEARSE> MEMORIZE. You must start strong or else you’ll have an uphill battle on the way
How can you excite? Be creative and forget the platitudes. Introduce yourself of course and then touch on how you can help the audience. “Hello and welcome to today’s presentation. My name is XX and for XX years I’ve xxxxx (needs to be scripted and memorized). Find a great story to get people to listen. Make it personal, or local if you can. Grab attention.
Can you use imagery – if trying to convey the size of something put it into a context that will be understood and ideally shows you understand where they’re coming from.
Confidence issues? Practise, practise and then some more and master the art of deep breathing and relaxed shoulders.
6. Death by Power Point
more than 300 million people use PowerPoint in the world (that is a scary statistic)!
Only use to visualise your ideas
create key points. Use to impress
Make eye contact with audience and never read from a slide
It must never be a data dump. Never have a slide which you have to preface with ‘I know this next slide is hard to read….. 3 – 4 lines per slide maximum!
Try alternatives – have you played with Prezi yet? http://prezi.com/
Including a slide specific to your audience would be great, eg if they are a particular football team fan, other sport, interest, incorporate that slide somewhere relevantly into your presentation.
Always have a copy of your notes on paper. Just in case!
Aim to produce a presentation that makes yours stand out from all the rest and one that people will remember after the event.
7. Wrap Up
“Just to recap, I told you at the beginning that I wanted to xxxxx and that by purchasing it, your company would save £XXXX. We looked at YYYY and ZZZZZ” Don’t assume the audience has ‘got’ what you’ve told them. The brain finds it hard to assimilate and translate new information. It’s your duty to make sure that the assimilation is as complete as possible.
Collect questions as you go through the presentation and answer at the end
If you’re asked about the competition, take great care. Never ever ‘diss’ the competition, rather reinforce your company’s benefits over your competitor’s offerings (you have done your competitor analysis, haven’t you)? Position yourself against them based upon their strengths and weaknesses. Or, if it’s a specific question to which you don’t know the answer, you could respond along the lines “we respect our competitors, it’s probably better if you talk to them”
If a sales pitch, then a good way to end is “What if anything would prevent you from taking the next step with me right now?” – promotes conversation
Repetition and reinforcement if necessary. Let’s quickly review….
8. Room check
If you’re presenting to a larger audience, then you need to check out the room first – where will you be standing, can everyone see you? Are there pillars in the way? Can you walk around the tables/chairs to keep movement going? How are the lights, what’s the PA system like?
Don’t leave this until an hour before you delivering your presentation. And don’t necessarily rely on the information sent by a venue/organizer.
9. Pointers from The Dragons Den TV programme
Dragons Den did a couple of programmes revisiting what presentations were successful and following some of the ‘winners’. The key pointers included
Make a good first impression – excite
Practice makes perfect
Keep your nerve and stay in control
Don’t offend your audience
Communicate your passion
Be honest about your company and the forecasts
Know your facts – eg if you are applying for a patent, know exactly where you are with the process
Don’t be greedy – but equally know your bottom line
Have a concise strategy which is easily understandable. no waffle, just hard facts and figures.
10. And finally, some suggested words/phrases to AVOID when giving your presentations:
Let me unpack this for you
So, well, you know, it’s like, it’s sorta, kinda…..
Like, you know, um
SO, how many of you have ever….? as an opener
Those buzz words: synergize, monetize, bring to the table, reinvent the wheel, carve out a niche, core competencies, low hanging fruit, deliverables, action items, skill sets – you know the ones – there’s a great game of bingo based on these – have you played it?
At the end of the day
Moving forward, going forward
Add value (even though a MBA favourite!)
Specific sporting terms, eg headwinds and tailwinds
The fact of the matter is
Back in the day
They may or may not
At this point in time
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get ….. or the Insanity one. Most people have got Google too!
Let’s take it to the next level
You may have heard of …
Let’s drill down on that for a moment
I just want to be clear
To be perfectly honest (can you be imperfectly honest?)
Can I be honest with you? (no, please continue to lie!)
If you fancy having a go then this website creates a Buzzword Bingo card every time you refresh the page. If you’re feeling really incensed about particular buzzwords that crop up in your industry, then you can also create your own bingo card by entering your own words. Enjoy!
I hope there are some pointers here which you can utilize in getting the best from your presentations. Good luck!
Call if you would like some help with yours.
Armstrong Beech Marketing
2011. Last updated June 2014
Although a post going back to last year, it’s a good article from Ellie Mirman from HubSpot dispelling some of the myths of getting involved in social media. There’s a lot of sound advice here.
“There are a lot of so-called “social media experts” out there. Dishing out advice, sometimes based on limited experiences, and sometimes based on nothing at all. Even the true social media experts sometimes share some misguided advice based on their beliefs and experiences. So with all this bad advice floating around the web, how do you distinguish between what you should — and shouldn’t — believe?
Have no fear! We’re here to share some of the worst pieces of social media advice we’ve seen to debunk all those misguided “best practices” and steer you in the right direction toward social media marketing truth and justice.
30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore
1) You need to be on every single social network.
Especially if you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. If your audience isn’t there, don’t waste your time. And as new social networks pop up (as they do all the time), feel free to experiment with them, but be ready to let them go if they don’t work for you, and let your analytics be your guide. At HubSpot, we’ve tried pretty much every social network that’s popped up, but some have fallen by the wayside, and we’ve focused our efforts on the networks that continue to generate results for our marketing. Not sure where to start? LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are safe bets. They have huge audiences that span many demographics and industries. and for the remaining 29 points, click through to Hubspot’s article to read Ellie’s article. Read the article here
Domain Names – Do You Need one of these new ‘fancy’ ones?
April saw the launch of the “Dot London” Domain Names so I could be debbie.london if that was relevant (and it hadn’t already gone). But do I/would I want one like this? Since the web was opened up to abolish the power of the more usual ‘top level’ domains, such as .com and .co.uk etc, all sorts of possibilities now present themselves. Read the article here from Graham Jones, Internet Psychologist
Another great post from Seth Godin on leading your team and a good one to remember when you next meet someone with a closed mind….
“Many tribes gain in power and connection by finding their opposite, by identifying the choices that members won’t make.
“People like us don’t do things like that.”
So the vegan tribe obviously chooses to not eat meat. And during the key formative years, the Apple tribe wouldn’t deign to buy Microsoft products. The Amish build solidarity and define themselves by the machines they choose not to use, and for a long time, many professional photographers wouldn’t use digital cameras.
The smart choice is to understand that tribal identity is based on choices, not on facts, based on allegiances, not the intentional disregard of the rest of the world. Some sects of the motorcycle tribe don’t wear helments… not because they believe it’s safer (and thus denying the obvious) but because it’s a choice they want to make.
Shortly after Copernicus rocked the world by proving that the Earth goes around the Sun (and not vice versa), many religions condemned this insight, “people like us don’t believe things like that.”
The problem is this”: ………. Read the article here
Mike Knight from MK Link explains the difference between Webinars, webcasts, streaming – words which perhaps we don’t always use correctly.
A webcast is largely accepted to be different from a webinar in that it is a broadcast over the web (Web+Broadcast) that typically comes from a single source. i.e. one person makes the webcast and many people receive it but do not interact. They can be live or recorded. Think of them like a TV programme that is broadcast into the ether. Or a radio programme.
In fact both TV and radio can be broadcast as normal and also broadcast simultaneously on the web. This is called a simulcast. In recent years of course, TV has become more interactive and allows users to select post-broadcast shows (“Catch-up TV”) but also to interact with them to a limited extent, e.g. requesting more information (hence the expression “press the red button now”).
These are similar in nature to webcasts except that they tend to be more interactive and allow multiple people to broadcast and be involved. ie “Many-To-Many” interactions rather that “One-To-Many” interactions (Webcasts). “Webinars” and “web-conferencing” and “online meetings” and “online workshops” are used interchangeably. (Web+Seminar = Webinar). Again, they can be live or recorded.
Streaming Media & Live Streaming
This refers to the protocols and networks that underpin webinar technology, rather then necessarily describing an event itself. In essence, it’s the ability to start consuming media before a whole file has been received.
If you think of a DVD, you have the whole file in your hands. If you think of watching a movie online, it is streamed to you, so you can watch it as you go along. i.e. you don’t have to wait until the whole film is downloaded.
To “smooth out” the process, buffering takes place, which keeps a short amount of the media in local memory so that even if the feed is discontinued momentarily, the media will still play without interruption.
These can be trade shows and job fairs and whole on-line academies. Think of going to a trade show, say for example the Technology for Marketing show at Earls’ Court in London. The WHOLE experience can be replicated in an online environment (apart from physical things like food) and the beauty of it all is that there’s no travelling, parking, hotels bills etc and everything is recorded. (Pretty much the same benefits as webinars)
A Podcast is rather different in that it is simply media (audio or video) that is available for download and is not transmitted either live or recorded at a predetermined time”. Mike Knight. www.mklink.com
“Like many of you, I am a trained marketer and a DIY designer. I read The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation and learned some essential PowerPoint and Photoshop tricks, but I really wanted to take my design skills to the next level. So I asked all my designer friends what my next step should be, and every single one said to take a course on typography.
So I decided to sign up for a typography course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I figured I’d learn how to identify a good font from a bad one. What I didn’t realize was that starting out small and paying attention to the details makes all the difference in the world when you’re laying out an email, ebook, or image for social media.
Every little change you make to a word or a body of text can make a huge difference in the overall piece. The little details do matter.
In fact, one of the only college courses Steve Jobs took was on calligraphy and typography, which he believed played a critical role in the success of Apple. As he once said in his Stanford University commencement speech, “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” Can you imagine a world where Apple products didn’t have a focus on beautiful design? I certainly can’t.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to take your DIY design skills to the next level? Let’s get started. Check out the rest of the article here
LinkedIn is changing all the time. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and updating it regularly is really important. Here’s a useful article from Pamela Vaughan of Hub Spot touching on some useful reminders as well as addressing some of the recent changes (as at Mach 2014).
“With more than 259 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals as well as one of the top social networks overall. Are you using it to its fullest potential?
Empathy, Reliability, Integrity – the 3 Qualities of Likeable People
A good article from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Manager of which I am/have been a member for many years. I particularly liked the quote from Investor Warren Buffett “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
“””Business leaders and entrepreneurs with superb people skills have a competitive edge over others. These skills often take more time to learn than technical abilities, but the results are well worth the investment.
Everyone wants to work with people they enjoy being around. If you’re extremely likable, you’ll be able to attract new clients and retain long-standing relationships with minimal effort.
Clients evaluate who they want to hire and continue to work with based on what I call the BLT factor: believability, likability, and trustworthiness. They ask themselves, “Does Pamela know what she’s doing and is she enjoyable to work with?” If you’re disliked, it may not matter how competent you are, people simply won’t want to work with you.
Likeability is the culmination of three traits: empathy, reliability and integrity. Here’s why each characteristic is important and what you can do to cultivate it.